David Bumgardner, exec chef of Williams & Graham, on moving your ass
Rules of conduct in your kitchen: Use your brain: It's there for a reason. I'm happy to help anyone learn if I've got something to teach, and I'm happy to jump in if we're behind or in the weeds, but I don't like babysitting. I try to find people who are self-reliant and who do things right; it doesn't take any longer to do something correctly. If I've done my job the right way, it shouldn't be a challenge. I also require efficiency. Running all over the kitchen because things aren't where they should be is unnerving. And move your ass! I hate Sunday drivers -- on the road, in the kitchen or on the floor. I really appreciate a good sense of urgency. And now that I sound like a complete prick, I want people to have fun. It's a new way of thinking for me, and a bit unusual at times, but it's important, especially when you spend a lot of hours in a small space with the same people every day.
Biggest kitchen disaster: Thankfully I haven't had too many major ones...yet. There was the time I forgot to close the valve all the way while I was cleaning the fryer. I succeeded in dumping about ten gallons of used oil all over the floor, cleaned that up, then turned right around and did it again with boil-out water. Or there was the time I cut the tip of my finger off while doing a wild-mushroom cooking demo with Pete Marczyk and Jeremy McMinn at Cook Street. That was just embarrassing. I couldn't get out without going through the crowd. It bled forever, and I eventually had to go to the ER.
What's never in your kitchen? Anything that we haven't made and/or that I don't know exactly what's in it.
What's always in your kitchen? Butter, cream and pork fat.
What's your favorite knife? I bought a Miyabi Fusion ten-inch knife last year that I love. The weight and balance are great for me, it's very comfortable, and the Damascus is almost like Teflon on the blade.
What's one thing about you or your restaurant that people would be surprised to know? I've only really been doing this for a few years, and I have a small talent with explosives.
Greatest accomplishment as a chef: I don't know, but I do know that I'm not there yet.